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How to Return to Exercise after Recovering from COVID-19


Whether you’re an active adult or student-athlete who has recovered from mild to moderate COVID-19, you’re probably eager to return to your exercise routine. Unlike diseases that have been there for decades or even centuries, COVID-19 comes with complications that make it an ongoing question mark. Discoveries surrounding the diseases seem to be observed week after week.

According to Dr Jordan D. Metzl, a sports medicine physician at the Sports Medicine Institute in New York City, it is necessary to follow some considerations and guidelines before resuming your regular exercise or activities after recovering from COVID-19.

Be Fully Recovered

The most essential thing is to ensure that all the COVID-19 symptoms have subsided. One of the correct indications of symptom resolution is if you resume your activities and do them without difficulty. Good examples are, being able to sleep well, eat well and attend work or school as usual. So, if you feel comfortable with handling your everyday life activities, consider yourself ready to go back to physical exercise.

Communicate with Your Health Care Provider

Your doctor understands how different symptoms affect the body in relation to factors like your age, type of symptom, and health history. Whether you were asymptomatic or not, it’s vital to talk with your health care provider. With your doctor monitoring your health condition, you’re sure that returning to “normalcy” can be less of a challenge.

Conditions and How to Resume Exercise

·         If you had respiratory symptoms like pneumonia, rest for at least 1 week and return to exercise gradually while being monitored

·         If you had heart-related symptoms, rest for around 2 to 3 weeks after recovery. If it was myocarditis or inflammation of the heart, wait for 3 to 6 months before restarting your exercise regimen.

·         If you had gastrointestinal symptoms of COVID-19 like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, take ample fluid and calories while easing into your fitness patterns.

·         If you had musculoskeletal symptoms such as joint and muscle pain, return to your pre-COVID-19 workouts gradually.


Reduce Your Activity Level if You Had a Previous Interruption

Cut down on your activity level if a vacation, illness, or bad weather interrupted your exercise for a few days. Then, keep increasing it gradually to your normal activity level if you are able.


A proper return to exercise or physical activity leads to a relatively low risk of significant injury. However, if you experience difficulty recovering after exercise, it means you engaged in intense exercise too early. Communicate with your health care provider if you face symptoms such as excessive shortness of breath, dizziness, and/or extreme fatigue, and chest pain.


Only Exercise in Moderate Temperature

If the weather is too hot, cold,or humid, don’t exercise outdoors. High humidity can fatigue you too quickly. Also, intense activity in extreme temperatures can lead to circulation problems, causing breathing difficulties and hence, chest pain. So, stick to activities indoors, for example, mall walking or mild gym workouts.

Exercise is a fundamental part of your overall health. Having an appropriate plan that works for you according to your health care provider is the safest way to return to your pre-COVID-19 exercise routine after recovery.





Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

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